Lights Down Low at Club 222 this past Friday was an almost perfect Friday night drinking and dancing party, and I regretted that journalistic duty called me away at 11.30 for the purpose of checking out the far lamer The Rod party at Deco a block away.
The boyfriend and I arrived a little before ten, early enough to duck the cover but just in time for the shift change from the happy hour crowd to the kids who were coming out for the night. We nursed our Redbull and vodkas at the bar and eavesdropped on a conversation between DJ Sleazemore and one of the bartenders in which he described a girl throwing a drink in his face at a party the night before - ooh, already this was sounding promising. It was when we realized that we both had been staring into space, mesmerized by a track coming out of the speaker behind us, that we knew the music was going to be fun as well.
A raven-haired suicide girl was behind the decks when we stepped down into the brick basement of the club. Back in the day Club 222 was known as the Blackhawk, and many a great jazz track was recorded in that space. For me the space evoked Berlin squat clubs and the grime of subTonic in New York, but it was a perfect space for the night with the glow of red lighting, a low ceiling and exposed brick. The sound was absolutely perfect and made me realize just how bad the sound at 111 Minna had been.
Our DJ took a bit of time to find her groove, but when she did it couldn't have been funkier or more fun. Of the four different events the boyfriend and I made it to over our weekend marathon, this was by far the best dancing we enjoyed the entire time. The music was not exactly genre specific, so the boyfriend and I wound up calling it progressive-electro-techno-funky. Go hear it and figure it out for yourself. Around eleven two guys with a laptop traded off with our DJ and went into a Ableton Live set that, though at times a bit squonky for dancing, was still exciting and interesting by virtue of the fact that these guys were improvising live with their sound loops.
Lights Down Low hits Club 222 on second and fourth Fridays and is more than worth it for the $5 cover. The crowd was young and mixed, with equal parts boys and girls taking to the dancefloor, and a few queerish types running around as well. To me it felt like re-connecting with the underground sound, and I will definitely be going back again.